Who is Jobless in the U.S.? Unemployment Rate Statistics by Gender and Ethnicity

Almost everyone has experienced unemployment at some point in their lives, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a crisis that affects a lot of people -- not only financially but also physically and emotionally. 

At present, the world population is about 7.96 billion, yet only 3.32 billion people are employed. This indicates that at least 4.64 billion people — more than half of the population — remain unemployed, which is troubling because of the economic impact on the individuals and the families they support. 

Below you can find the latest unemployment statistics you should know in 2022.

Topics covered

01

Main causes of unemployment

02

Unemployment statistics during COVID-19

03

Unemployment statistics in the U.S.

04

Unemployment rates based on race and gender

05

Unemployment rates by industry

Main causes of unemployment

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Frictional unemployment

occurs even in stable economies as a result of workers leaving their jobs and looking for new ones, plus new workers entering the workforce for the first time (Investopedia). 

Structural unemployment

is a prolonged form of unemployment brought on by changes in the economy and other components such as technology, competition, and government policy (Investopedia).

Cyclical unemployment

is due to the irregular ups and downs in growth production. Cyclical unemployment typically rises when the demand for the product decreases (Investopedia).

Unemployment statistics during COVID-19

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During COVID-19, the global unemployment rate increased to 6.5%. Over 220 million people were unemployed, and 81 million individuals left the workforce (UN).

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In 2020, more than 255 million full-time jobs were lost, about four times more than the worldwide financial crisis in 2009 (UN).

The pandemic had the greatest impact on young people and women, with job losses of 8.7% and 5%, respectively, compared with 3.9% for men (UN).

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COVID-19 further widened an already significant gender differences in labor force participation rates. During the pandemic, women were more likely than men to leave their jobs to take care of their families (UN).

On a global scale, young women are twice as likely as young men to be unemployed. In 2019, the global NEET rate was 31.1% for young women, compared with 14.0% for young men (UN).

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Before the pandemic, informal employment accounted for 60.2% of global employment. At least 2 billion people worldwide worked jobs lacking basic protection such as social protection coverage (UN). During the pandemic, these people were affected the most, with many businesses shutting down due to quarantines.

Unemployment statistics in the U.S.

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As of October 2022, the unemployment rate was 3.7%, 0.9% lower than in October 2021 (BLS).

There were 1.2 million permanent job losses and 758,000 people who have been temporarily laid off. The number of unemployed people fell to 5.8 million. (BLS).

The number of individuals working part-time has increased to 25.98 million, indicating the impact of hour reductions due to work slowdowns and business conditions (Statista).

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In September, 1.8 million people stated that they had been unable to work because their employer had shut down or gone out of business as a result of the pandemic (BLS).

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21.4% of workers who said they couldn't work in May due to pandemic-related closures or lost business had at least some compensation from their company for the hours they didn't work (BLS).

Of those who were not in the labor force in September 2022, 452,000 people were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic. This number is essentially unchanged from August. (BLS).

Unemployment rates based on race and gender

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The unemployment rate for white people is 3.2%, while there are currently 122 million employed. (BLS).

White women have an unemployment rate of 2.9 in comparison to the rate of white men, which is 3.1% (BLS).

Compared to white people, Black people have a higher unemployment rate of 5.9%, while there are currently 20 million employed (BLS).

Black men have an unemployment rate of 5.8%, which is higher than that of Black women by 0.2% (BLS).

Hispanic people have the second-highest unemployment rate of 4.2%. (BLS).

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Asian people have a much lower unemployment rate (2.9%) compared to other ethnic groups, and more than 10 million are employed (BLS).

Unemployment rates by industry

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Nonfarm employment increased by 263,000 in September. (BLS).

The hospitality and leisure industry added 83,000 jobs in September, in line with the average monthly job gain over the first 8 months of the year. (BLS).

Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including mining, retail trade, information, other services, and government. (BLS).

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Employment in health care rose by 60,000 and has returned to its February 2020 level. (BLS).

Employment in wholesale trade has been on an upward trend all year, adding an average of 18,000 jobs per month. Industry employment is 16,000 above its February 2020 level. (BLS).

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